Londondry, one of the UKs largest islands, is still in shock after a wave of tourism cancellations in recent weeks, with thousands of locals returning home to the islands’ tourist resorts.
A total of 4,813 tourists were due to visit Londnderry on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said, up from 2,800 last week.
However, a number of smaller towns and villages, including Londundie, were being hit by the tourist crush.
It was also reported that one local man had been arrested in connection with a stabbing in the town of Kilbride last week, and police were investigating a shooting in the village of Fergie last Friday.
Some locals reported being beaten and pelted with eggs and eggs and bacon, and were also left with damaged property.
Mr O’Connor, who runs the Londrdie Hotel in the city centre, said he had received a lot of death threats and had received numerous calls to come down and speak to him.
“The number of calls has increased,” he said.
“People are saying they’ve been targeted and threatened.
It’s just a lot more serious than we’ve been in the past.”
The Government has pledged to give Londders a “truly comprehensive package” of measures to protect them, including new security measures in schools and other places of public gathering, increased patrols and increased patrols at airports.
Mr Dyson said the Government would also increase “significant policing resources” to protect visitors and businesses, and work with tourism companies to ensure a “level playing field” was maintained for all.
“We are very disappointed, and we are determined to make sure that we do not have to suffer again this week,” he added.
Tourism Minister Ian Paisley said the cancellations had been due to the “lack of information” from hotels, but said there had been “a clear and predictable pattern of cancellations”.
“The Government will be looking at ways to ensure that we are not putting the needs of tourists ahead of those of our citizens, particularly in the tourism sector,” he told BBC Radio Ulster.
“I think that we’ve had an effective plan to manage the situation and that’s been the approach, and I’m sure we will be taking that approach and doing that again.”
Mr Paisieley added that “it’s absolutely imperative” that hotels and tourism companies work with the authorities to protect their property.
He said that while he was “committed to working with the tourism industry”, he would “need to work with [government] departments and organisations to ensure the protection of our businesses, our hotels, our businesses”.
Londndry Mayor Paul O’Sullivan said he felt “completely powerless” to stop the tourism cancellings and that the Government had “taken a tough stance” on tourism and that there had to be “robust and credible protection measures”.
“We have had some tough decisions in terms of how we have been able to cope with this,” he continued.
“So we need to do everything we can to make the situation as comfortable as possible.”